Campus Safety Under Scrutiny: Can Alerts Save Lives?

DANVILLE, KY -- Federal and State laws have required colleges and universities around the country to have some sort of emergency reporting plan in place since 1999.

But the laws were designed more for warning of a pattern of behavior like assaults on campus not for immediate emergencies like the recent campus shootings.

Now schools of all sizes are taking steps on their own, to strengthen safety plans in the wake of yet another campus tragedy.

Centre College in Danville has always had a plan in place in case of an emergency like a campus shooting. Like many colleges across the country, Centre depends on technology.

Mike Noriss says after the massacre at Virginia Tech, schools nationwide re-evaluated their safety procedures and now after the Northern Illinois University shootings they're learning more lessons.

"A professor was sent the e-mail but the e-mail was down so he didn't get the message...we learned that redundancy and multiple alerts help," Noriss told 27NEWSFIRST.

Centre recently used the alert system for a weather related issue and those we talked with said it worked.

One Centre student, Tyler Lane, said he received a message when a tornado warning was issued in the middle of the night. He, and other students, were warned to take cover.

"It was an e-mail, a text, then a call and if you didn't answer it went to voicemail," Lane said.

Tyler said while the recent warning at Centre wasn't as serious as a campus shooting, the Centre system worked.

"I feel safe and they're always testing it like on breaks and stuff we'll get a message that says at 4:00 we're sending out a test."

The administration and students know nothing is 100 percent.

"We know nothing is guaranteed but we'll keep working for the safety of our community," Noriss told us.

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